Winemaking Beginnings Uncovered From 100 Year Family Mystery
The Ross family migrated from Scotland to Canada in the late 1800’s and settled on a large horse farm near Alberta. As one of eight children, Percy Walter George Ross, was the most spirited, and known to gamble impulsively on the horses. In 1906 Percy fled Canada to the United States on his horse, “Grey Ghost“. Although it was more likely Percy was running from trouble, when he never returned home to Canada, the Ross family feared that Percy had passed away in the Great Dayton Flood.
One hundred years later his secrets were uncovered when his ancestors learned the truth of this mischievous young man’s disappearance.
Percy had redefined himself as a prominent businessman in Upstate New York and built Ross & Krowl’s, later known as the Crystal Grill and Casino, into a thriving family business.True to his character, alcohol sales continued during Prohibition with the use of the grill’s underground speakeasy. Many city officials were frequent guests, and it was here that Percy passed the art of wine-making on to his children.
The troubles of this entrepreneurial leader may forever remain a mystery but his wine-making passion remains alive in the family today.
In 1985, Percy’s grandson Ron, spent time in the beautiful wine county of the Finger Lake region learning from his father the wine-making secrets passed down in the basement of the Crystal Grill.
In 1996, Ron and Deanna acquired a ranch along the Red River located within the Texoma AVA (American Viticultural Area). Over the years, the Ross family has transformed the property into one of Texas’ most hidden treasures. This 340 acre ranch is home to an exciting diversity of wildlife with the main attractions being over 300 exotic deer and a winery producing Texas’ finest wines under “The Ranch Wines” label.
The Ross’ opened Lone Star Wine Cellars in 2003 to share “The Ranch Wines” with their friends and neighbors of Historic Downtown McKinney. Today Lone Star Wine Cellars exists to create a friendly environment where guests feel welcome and create memories through lasting friendships.
In 2019, Mr. Ross took his son-in-law, Jon Dunphy, back to the basics of winemaking, and helped Jon make his first batch, a 2019 Merlot. What to them was another night out at the ranch began the next generation of family winemakers.